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EFCC docks three NFF officials over $9.5m fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commissoon, EFCC, on Thursday arraigned three officials of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, for allegedly conspiring to steal money to the tune of $9.5m from the Federation account.

The money was part of the grant by the Federation of International Football Association, FIFA, to the NFF for the development of football in Nigeria.

The defendants – Christopher Andekin, Rajan Zaka and Jafaru Fadanari Mamza were arraigned on a 5-count charge of fraud before Justice Peter O. Affem of the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja.

Andekin, a director in the NFF, and his co-defebdants, Zaka and Mamza, who are cashier and Head, Finance and accounts Department of the NFF, respectively allegedly diverted money to the tune of $9,535,923.87 belonging to the Federation to personal use.

Andekin was particularly accused of fraudulently diverting N1,353,407.22 from the domiciliary account of the NFF domiciled in one of the new generation banks, without due process.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Christopher Andekin, being the Director of Admin and Finance of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on or about 8th day of January to 26th day of January 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja while being entrusted with dominion over money meant for the Development of Football in Nigeria, a grant from the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) to NFF fraudulently, diverted the sum of N1,353,407.22 from the NFF domiciliary account No. 5070407456 with the Zenith Bank into your personal use and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 311of the Penal Code Cap 532 LFN 1990 and punishable under Section 312 of the same Code.”

Particulars of count three read: “That you, Rajan Zaka, being a cashier with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja while being entrusted with dominion over money meant for the Development of Football in Nigeria, a grant from the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) to NFF fraudulently, diverted the sum of $6,490,900.48 from the NFF domiciliary account No. 5070407456 with the Zenith Bank into your personal use and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 311of the Penal Code Cap 532 LFN 1990 and punishable under Section 312 of the same Code.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them.

Upon their plea, counsel to the EFCC, Steve Odiase, asked the court to fix a date for trial and remand the defendants in custody.

On the other hand, counsel to the defendants, Arinze Egbo, prayed the court to admit the defendants to bail as the offence for which they were docked is bailable. He added that the defendants had earlier been granted administrative bail by the EFCC and have not breached its conditions.

Justice Affem granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N5million bond each with one surety each. The sureties must be in the Federal Civil Service not below Grade Level 14. The defendants are to deposit their international passports with the court registrar.

The case has been adjourned to November 28, 2018 for hearing.

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